The Royal Malaysian Navy has lost contact with one of its gunboats off the coast of Sabah.
Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar in a Twitter posting last night confirmed the boat with seven crew members was lost during rough seas.
“Three Royal Malaysian Navy ships KD Lekiu (above), KD Paus and KD Serang have been tasked in the search and rescue (SAR) operation.
“The Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency are also assisting in the SAR operation,” he said.
Abdul Aziz¬† said the lost gunboat carried the pennant number CB204 and was led by Lieutenant Azri Bakar.
“Pray that they are safe,” he said in another posting.
According to Astro Awani, the boat’s last known position was at 1.05pm yesterday at 20 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Mengalum.
CB204 was escorted by KD Paus which had informed headquarters that it would be turning back to the Kota Kinabalu navy base due to bad weather.
Meanwhile, Bernama this morning reported that RMN said the combat vessel lost contact with an escort vessel as it headed to an RMN station on Layang-Layang atoll off Sabah.
‚ÄúThe CB90 type of combat vessel, assigned to operate from RMN Station Five on the atoll, lost communication with the escort vessel KD Paus during the voyage,‚Äù said Abdul Aziz.
He said in a statement that the vessel, CB204, accompanied by KD Paus, left the RMN base in Kota Kinabalu at 5am yesterday and lost radio communication with the escort vessel at 11.15am.
“The incident occurred during bad weather around Pulau Mengalum,” he said. -M’kini